I picked up the Pentel Energel Clena Gel pens ($3 each) awhile back but forgot to post the review until recently. Its probably a good thing as now there are plenty in stock. When I ordered them, the pickings were slim. The options for the black ink varieties were only one point size and the barrel was only available in pink if I remember correctly.
Now, JetPens has all the barrel colors available. Of course “all” is a relative term as the Clena line comes in about four pastel candy color accented barrels (mimosa yellow, classical pink, saxe blue and mint green) for the black ink versions and 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5mm. Then there is a red ink, red barrel version in the same tip sizes. Its a fairly limited range of color and design options.
The best thing about the Pentel Energel pens and the reason I was willing to pay the $0.20-0.25 upcharge for the nicer looking needlepoint barrel and pen is the point. The needlepoint tips are available on the Euro 0.35 capped pen (also available in 0.5) and the RTX 0.3 (also available in 0.5 and 0.7) but given my druthers, I’d much prefer to use the Clena, even though Bob said the ones I bought were girly. I do wish there wasn’t a bit of feedback in the tip of the Clena pens though. If I could get the look of the Clena with the stability of the capped pen!
Look at how nicely the 0.3 and 0.4 write though!
The 0.3mm red is pretty dainty. I didn’t get a black in 0.3mm because they were sold out at the time I placed my order but I will definitely pick one up with my next order. The 0.3mm is probably the sweet spot for me, especially for work where I might end up using them on copy paper or other particularly absorbent paper. The 0.4mm red and black are both good “middle of the road” sizes for me. I’d consider them a “medium” for me but most people would probably consider these fine or extra fine. I’d say it was a little finer than the Pilot Precise V5 but in a good way. Both wrote very smooth and I had no false starts or hard starts. For a lefty using a liquid ink pen, that’s a big thing. I used them overwriting, underwriting, upside down and sideways with no issues.
I would definitely compare the writing experience of the pens to a smoother Hi-Tec C, even though a Pilot Hi-Tec C is a gel pen and the Energel Clena is a liquid ink. Because the Clena is available in such fine tip sizes, it is comparable to a Hi-Tec C but smoother. It’s also very similar in feel to a Pilot Precise V5 but way less skippy. Imagine, if you will, a really good Precise V5. So, if the Clena is too cutesy for you, consider one of the more subdued versions of the Energel pens. You’ll be glad you did. Its one of the few liquid ink pens I still use today, even after discovering gel pens and fountain pens.